Top Three Takeaways – February 9th, 2021
- The more things change the more they stay the same. William W. Belknap. Until now he was the name attached to an obscure American history trivia question. Now he’ll be forever linked to Donald Trump. Who was he? In 1876, William W. Belknap was the only person to have faced a Senate impeachment trial after he was out of office...until now. Belknap used his post as Secretary of War to help enrich himself, through a series of political appointments and bribes. Within three years he’d come by around $500,000 (in today’s money) when his scheming was uncovered. Once brought to the light of day, Belknap resigned. But that wasn’t the end of the story. In a situation not entirely unlike what we’re faced with today, Democrats who controlled Congress, wanted an impeachment trial. Though the argument was to prevent him from holding office again, there was no real risk of that occurring, instead Democrats were mostly attempting to use his impeachment as an election year blemish against an official within a Republican administration. It took nearly a month of debate in the House as the argument centered around whether a private citizen could be impeached. In the end they did impeach him in a simple majority vote – however a conviction in the Senate didn’t take place as a two-third's majority couldn’t be convinced it was constitutional to impeach an official who was already out of office. Sound like Déjà vu? This is the flimsy precedent being cited to legitimize the world’s great show trial ever. And the result is set be exactly the same.
- What’s in it for me? Nothing. Actually, worse than nothing because while Donald Trump sits at home in Mar-a-Lago, as a private citizen, you’re literally paying for a trial to convict him. What’s more is that literally nothing else can take place in the Senate while this trial plays out. So, when you hear President Biden or Majority Leader Schumer say it’s imperative to move immediately on items like COVID relief, understand they clearly don’t mean it. Under the Constitution, in the event this sham trial is even constitutional, the Senate can’t conduct any other business until it’s concluded. Whether it takes a day or four, those are days the priority isn’t anything other than to attempt to silence you. Yes, you. Given that the only potential outcome achieved by even a successful trial in the eyes of Democrats, would be to prevent Donald Trump from holding office in the future...the only justified purpose to hold this trial is to attempt to silence you in the event Trump were to run for office again. Of course, that wouldn’t even matter if you wouldn’t vote for him. That’s the option Senate Democrats are desirous of taking away from you. Which, in context, might be the greatest endorsement of why one might want to vote for Donald Trump in the future.
- Productivity. None of it will be happening the Senate this week. If you want to be productive, I’d advise against witnessing it. There’s nothing for you to gain and only your time to be wasted. If you accomplish anything this week, it’ll be more than the US Senate - which given the current judgement of Senate Democrats...maybe doing nothing is better than the something they would do. In that respect, a failed impeachment trial of Donald Trump might be the most productive use of their time after all. It beats higher taxes.
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